Home Recreational vehicle Planning To Visit New Zealand by Campervan? Here’s what to know before you go.

Planning To Visit New Zealand by Campervan? Here’s what to know before you go.

Planning To Visit New Zealand by Campervan? Here’s what to know before you go.


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Again in 2018, Heath and I ventured throughout the ocean to New Zealand for our first large worldwide RV journey. This journey modified our lives—plunging us additional in love with journey and convincing us that we must always transfer to this attractive nation instantly.

We at all times dreamed of returning to New Zealand sooner or later however puzzled if or when it will ever occur.

Then, as we booked flights to Japan, a thought crossed our minds. Ought to we hop all the way down to New Zealand? We have been already midway there!

Effectively, we have been kidding ourselves if we thought Japan and New Zealand have been remotely shut to one another! Japan is likely one of the northernmost nations in Asia and New Zealand is the southernmost nation in Oceania. It took an extended, ten-hour in a single day flight, however we made it to Auckland prepared to begin our subsequent journey!

Take a look at our first day selecting up our motorhome and getting down to discover the North Island:

On this weblog put up, I wish to share useful fundamentals for anybody impressed to take their very own street journey throughout the islands of New Zealand. I’ll cowl what you must know earlier than you go, plus ideas for planning your route across the nation.


If you happen to’re American, you do want a visa to go to New Zealand. (This got here into impact in 2019, after our first go to to New Zealand.)

You want to apply for what is known as a NZeTA, or New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority. The appliance is straightforward and easy. You’ll want your passport helpful for this, however it shouldn’t take greater than two minutes of your time.

I needed to get 4 of those complete—one for every member of the household together with the youngsters—and every software was accepted in about 60 seconds by way of e-mail. They advise that you simply apply a number of weeks forward of time on your visa resulting from processing instances and you may even pay additional to have your visa processed “in a number of hours.” I utilized a month earlier than our journey and as I discussed, we have been immediately accepted.

Whereas these visas are straightforward to get, they aren’t low-cost. They price $58 NZD or about $36 USD every, that means it price almost $150 to acquire visas for our household.

Driver’s License

You do not want a global driver’s allow or IDL to drive in New Zealand. All you want is an lively driver’s license out of your nation—with an English translation, if obligatory—and the boldness to drive on the left facet of the street!


Flights to New Zealand may be costly and, in case you’re coming from the States, very lengthy. Now that we’ve youngsters, we’ve a brand new journey rule: At all times fly direct. We flew direct from Tokyo to Auckland and for the reason that flight was in a single day, jetlag wasn’t too unhealthy. (Plus there’s solely a four-hour time distinction between New Zealand and Japan.)

I extremely suggest flying Air New Zealand in case you can. We flew Air NZ from Tokyo and residential to Houston. Each instances have been superb and a few of our best flights but with the children. To not spoil the final video of our sequence, however let me simply say, I’ve NEVER had such good sleep on an airplane. 10/10 would suggest.

Air New Zealand doesn’t fly out of each US metropolis, however they do fly direct out of main jobs. It’s price it to ebook with them to begin and finish your New Zealand journey!

(I’ve no affiliation with Air NZ, however flying with youngsters and infants is tough. They made it straightforward. I’m now obsessive about them.)

Greatest Instances to Go to

New Zealand, as I discussed, is the southernmost nation in Oceania, that means you may anticipate chilly winters. That is the one time of 12 months I’d not suggest visiting New Zealand. You’ll be able to campervan the nation within the winter—particularly in case you prefer to ski—however in case you’ve ever camped in freezing temperatures earlier than, you recognize the challenges that include ice.

For each of our visits, we selected to go to in the course of the fall months, March, April, and Might. The temperatures are excellent this time of 12 months. It’s heat in the course of the day and chilly at night time, although you may anticipate rain. You’ll want a heat jacket and a swimsuit (for these sizzling springs!). You’ll get related temperatures of their spring months, September via November.

Summer time might be the very best time to go to, with heat climate excellent for New Zealand’s many seashores or mountain climbing via the mountains. However it’s additionally peak season for tourism, which is why we usually keep away from it. Busy season requires extra planning and reservations for campsites, which could be a headache to ebook from overseas. We desire shoulder season to beat the crowds and have a extra versatile plan. (Bonus: leases and different issues are often cheaper within the low season too!)


Packing for a tenting journey may be very completely different than packing for different holidays. You’ve bought to consider in case your suitcase can deal with mountain climbing boots and in case you’ll want a heavy jacket for tenting within the mountains. (I like to recommend each for New Zealand!)

One factor we have been very cognizant of after our first journey to New Zealand was our variety of baggage. We had three checked baggage for our journey and failed to appreciate that our closing flight into New Zealand—all booked with Delta—was on a associate airline that solely allowed one checked bag per particular person. We spent 20 minutes on the floor of the airport repacking gadgets to suit into two baggage and be inside weight! (These mountain climbing boots ended up on our toes.)

A number of years older and wiser, albeit with youngsters in tow, we now journey with just one giant suitcase.

How will we match every thing for 4 individuals into one suitcase for a month-long worldwide journey?

The brief reply: packing cubes. Folks swear by packing cubes and I’ve been transformed. They make packing SO MUCH EASIER.

The lengthy reply: a three-page listing of must-have journey gadgets that I comply with to the letter.

Packing for a street journey may be very completely different than packing for a visit the place you intend to remain in resorts or Airbnbs. You need to remember the fact that you’ll spend most of your time exterior, that you simply’ll doubtless be cooking extra meals than consuming out, and that you simply’ll be in additional excessive temperatures in comparison with a climate-controlled resort.

Happily, in case you ebook the appropriate camper, you don’t have to fret about packing sheets, towels, dishes, and different tenting gear.

Reserving a Camper

Heath and I’ve nowed RVed in 10 nations, renting an RV in every. Not all RV leases are created equal. For instance, in Japan, we needed to pay additional for a stovetop, cooking utensils, and sleeping baggage. And in our upcoming journey within the UK, we’re paying additional for sheets and towels. Personally, I discover this extremely irritating. Nobody desires to fly midway the world over with sheets of their suitcase!

However in New Zealand, we’ve by no means needed to fear about this added problem.

Throughout each journeys to the nation, we rented our RV from Wilderness Motorhomes.

After I say they’re the best possible RV rental firm on the earth, I imply that very sincerely.

What makes Wilderness the very best?

  1. Have a look at that motorhome. It’s so extremely spotless and delightful. (Guys, getting a clear RV with the mattress neatly made… This isn’t a assure with different leases. Belief me on that!) All the things a couple of Wilderness motorhome is opulent.
  2. Wifi included! Many rental choices don’t provide wifi. The web on board our Wilderness is a number of the finest connectivity we’ve ever had in any nation. We had wifi service in all places we camped. And we camped in some fairly distant locations!
  3. Superb customer support. Customer support is a key element of any journey plan, particularly whenever you’re flying around the globe to go to a rustic. If one thing comes up earlier than or throughout your journey, their workforce is fast that can assist you resolve any issues.

Once we picked up our Wilderness Motorhome, one factor you don’t see within the video above is us signing the rental settlement stating that our rental could be returned on Might eighth. There was just one downside with this. I booked our return flights to the US for Might ninth! 🙈  Such a rookie journey mistake on my half. I fully blended up the times once I booked our flight house. Wilderness waved off my stress and shortly adjusted our rental to be sooner or later longer. There was an up to date settlement in our e-mail inbox earlier than we pulled off the lot. The workforce was so fast to adapt, sympathetic to my mistake, and so sort to allow us to lengthen our journey.

I, however, am nonetheless embarrassed!

We’re at all times blown away by the professionalism and heat of the Wilderness workforce. There is no such thing as a different rental firm we’d select to lease in New Zealand!

Planning our Route

As we state within the video, throughout our final go to to NZ, we spent most of our time on the South Island. A lot time the truth is, that we needed to lower our North Island go to brief.

There have been a number of locations I knew I needed to revisit on the North, like Rotorua and Taupo, however I didn’t know the place to begin planning for the remainder of the island.

I headed to Wilderness’s web site, remembering how they helped me plan our journey again in 2018.

They’ve over a dozen road trip itineraries with stops, issues to do, and handy notes like what number of days a route would possibly take. I grabbed the Auckland to Cape Reinga street journey in addition to the Auckland to Coromandel itinerary. (You’ll see us begin driving the Coromandel peninsula within the video. Holy WOW it is likely one of the most lovely landscapes I’ve ever seen.


If you happen to’re planning a street journey to New Zealand, I extremely suggest downloading one of their free road trip itineraries that can assist you begin planning!

Issues to Know Earlier than You Go

I’ve lengthy believed New Zealand to be essentially the most lovely nation on the earth. Revisiting New Zealand and seeing extra of the North Island has solely additional strengthened this perception. It’s really a gem that must be on each bucket listing.

We are able to’t wait to share this New Zealand video sequence with you. You’ll want to subscribe on Youtube for the entire movies 🙂



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